Everything you need to know about 8 Travel Trends for 2021 / 2022
Updated: Jan 7
The travel and tourism industry grows 3.5% marking the ninth year of sizeable growth in Like nothing any industry had ever seen, 2020 was destined to be shared catastrophes.
What may the recovery look like?
What's Changing and what's Likely to Stay the Same
Here are eight trends driving the future of the travel space.
1. An Emphasis On Local Destinations
Ron Yariv, a hospitality consultant, predicts that “local tourism will continue to be important more than ever in 2022”
Statistics from 2020 support his prediction.
Last year, 72% of Americans didn't take a vacation, but 31% did take a staycation
Airbnb expects these trends to stay strong.
One statistic to come out of this survey is that nearly half of travelers are looking to take a holiday within driving distance of their homes.
As seen with things like Airbnb bookings- within 300 miles of the traveler’s home jumped to 60% of all bookings in May 2020, compared to just 40% of bookings made earlier.
Expert Opinion: "Domestic tourism will boom in 2022.
· Travel may be a hassle because of coronavirus testing and restrictions.
· Other factors may affect this trend.
· Local Tourism Picks Up as a Hit with Millennials
· One-quarter of millennials say they want shorter, closer vacations because they don’t want to spend more money.
· The industry saw a shortage as pandemic winds down and there's a sense of normalcy to the situation.
· Skift Megatrends 2025 says that leisure travel will be close to record levels by 2025.
2. Consumers Demand Increased COVID-19 Safety And Cleanliness
Concerns about pandemics are expected to continue through 2021. Here are some important logistics for early 2022
Overall, the top two causes of traveler’s anxiety are getting exposed to other travelers and boarding a flight. There are even some airlines that allow self-boarding, or configuring your boarding pass online.
Here are a few ways in which different airlines have addressed travelers’ anxiety
Emirates, a Dubai-based airline, will cover medical expenses and quarantine costs of up to $183k and $122 per day for 14 days respectively if travelers are diagnosed with COVID-19 (swine flu) while traveling.
In 2021, individuals who travel may be much more likely to drive their destinations.
A Booking.com survey found that 46% of travelers are afraid of catching the virus when traveling by public transportation.
Car safety was one of the biggest issues when it came to travel safety in the last quarter of 2020.
The people behind the safety barometer assess car safety, and last month, they found level 75 to be “extremely safe."
Additionally, the COVID-19 guidelines like social distancing are expected to impact what tourists do while traveling.
Be wary of not socializing with tourists - as shown by a survey from Booking.com, 70% of visitors expect at least a few moments of social isolation from those visiting the same attractions as them.
In a recent study, 63% of tourists said they would stay away from busy attractions. Of the remaining, the majority would only visit sites during off-peak hours while some will avoid going to any crowded attraction.
Hotels respond and prepare due to the pandemic.
In a Skift and Oracle Hospitality survey, three factors that make travelers more comfortable staying in a hotel were revealed. They are contactless payments, digital room keys, and digital messaging services.
As travelers move in and out of rooms, hotels are faced with the extensive task of cleaning and sanitizing.
The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve in Puerto Rico has improved their cleaning routine. They're completing three hours of ionization in addition to their normal cleaning routine, to get rid of mold and other hazardous materials.
According to The New York Times, Pearl Hospitality is bringing in Germ-Zapping Robots to clean their hotel rooms located near the Texas Medical Centre complex in Houston.
3. Travellers Go It Alone
In July 2020, a survey of people revealed that 30% planned to travel on their own.
Additionally, another source reports 25% of millennial Americans to expect to travel on their own each year.
Of those solo travelers, 42% of them were not traveling due to the pandemic.
Intrepid Travel is a company that focuses on “small-group traveling”. It offers its customers 75,000 yearly travel plans. f
More than 50% of the travel agents’ customers are booking trips for themselves
Overseas Adventure Travel, another small-group travel company, has seen such a boom in solo travel that they’ve upped the number of single spaces they have available in 2021. The move was made to accommodate this increasing demand for solo travelers.
Social media is in demand in the solo traveler's community too.
4. Travelers Crave Local Experiences
The \\\"experience economy\\\" finds big success in the travel industry
But will fewer people settle for commonplace vacation activities in the coming years?
Rather, "consumers will pursue authentic experiences distancing themselves from mainstream tourism providers and venturing into pastimes that feel more meaningful.”
AirSage notes that people are more interested in special vacations, rather than more conventional travel experiences.
Visualizing Airbnb's Investment in this Trend
The website where you can buy experiences
They have also been adding online experiences in 2020, for people who want to connect with locals without the need to leave the home.
Ten companies are banking their entire business model on this trend.
Withlocals provides travelers the opportunity to book tours and activities with locals around the world.
Camping and glamping trips have turned into a popular way for people to travel while exploring local culture and staying safe amid the pandemic.
Is Outdoorsy the "Airbnb" of RV Rentals?
They surpassed a billion USD in 2020, 400% growth from 2019
Under Canvas brings you to the magic of glamping and to unique spaces in the wilderness for a stay highlighted by local exploration and human connections.
The company reported a “surge in demand in 2020 and already has ‘strong’ advanced bookings for 2021.”
5. Travel Tech Adoption Accelerates
In the travel industry, business is presented with nearly endless opportunities from technology.
How the pandemic accelerated tech innovation in the travel industry
A McKinsey report showed that, because of COVID-19, “companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years.”
One example is room service robots
A new article on travelnews.com reports that two Chinese hotel giants have invested in ExcelLand, a manufacturer of 3,000 robots.
BTB HomeInnes is looking at these robot hosts as a way to save on manpower and also ensure guests feel safe.
How hotels, airlines, and other food and drink establishments are using chatbots
Travelers can chat with providers during every stage of their journey.
They won’t (always) feel like they’re talking to a machine. Advances in AI have made this type of communication efficient and tasking-free.
The United Airlines "Agent on Demand" service lets travelers video chat with customer service representatives through digital codes. Scanning the code connects you with a phone which enables you to talk to an agent.
Airlines are using facial recognition in airport terminals
Corporations and Government Entities Sell This Technology as Safe Solutions for Travelers
Although advocates warn that AI could turn into dystopian surveillance.
When it comes to reaching potential buyers, many business professionals are choosing to rely on old technologies, namely their smartphones.
The statistic, “travelers who book tours and activities on their phone spend 50% more than
those who book elsewhere”.
6. Consumers Blend Business And Leisure Travel
The latest statistics say there are nearly 5 million people who work from a location other than the traditional office.
Location-independent workers are very in-demand right now. Since the pandemic, the concept of traveling and working remotely has become more popular.
The hospitality industry has started catering more to online workers
Aruba introduces an island-wide initiative to popularise the growing trend of working remotely, which it dubs “One Happy Workation”.
You can stay at this boutique hotel for up to 90 days and never leave because there's no government documentation required
The Barbados and Cayman Islands are also places where you can work remotely. They both provide easy living with the most conveniences, making them ideal for the digital nomad!
Booking.com reports that the workation trend is going strong.
More than 50% of travelers can now extend their business trips to enjoy personal time at their destination.
Learning how hotels are becoming more aware of public demand for privacy
The Hamilton Hotel in Washington, DC is just one example of how hotels are adapting to be productive spaces. Its WFH-Work From Hamilton program offers rooms on a 6 am - 7 pm schedule so guests can work without having to pack up and go home each day.
7. The Travel Industry Gets Serious About Sustainability
More than half of US travelers believe that sustainable travel options are insufficient, as shown by March 2020 statistics.
A poll conducted on behalf of Exodus Travels went even deeper into consumers attitudes.
91% of travelers see the importance of taking ethical trips
56% believe in buying souvenirs from local merchants
44% want to support local businesses at their destination
Sustainability in travel is making your impact on the environment minimal
Safe tips for your eco-friendly approach to the physical environment
Nearly 70% of travelers say they are more likely to use property if it is planetary-friendly.
The travel industry has recently made commitments to preserving the environment.
For instance, ITC Hotels Group in India has LEED-certified each of its hotels as of 2023, hotels in California will no longer be allowed to provide single-use plastic bottles for toiletries.
Marriott International has made a pledge to remove these types of plastics from all their hotels, too. However, the pandemic has put a temporary stop to that plan.
A recent report from Skift has made the following summary statement regarding sustainable travel in the future: "Sustainable travel, then, may well become a more achievable goal."
For a less flashy way to view and travel the world, Earth Ride promotes sustainability by emphasizing safety and profound experiences while getting from point A to B without wrecking the climate and local quality of life in the process.
8. Electric Air Travel Goes Mainstream
Talking about sustainability, it turns out that flying Teslas are finally here.
And they have the potential to make a big impact on at least three industries:
With over $200 billion in annual revenue, the aircraft manufacturing industry is serious competition for companies like Boeing, Airbus, and Lockheed.
Airlines with Commercial Revenues of $838 Billion (pre-COVID).
The ride-hailing market stands at over $70 billion USD in the U.S., more than the projected taxi market by 2024
Electric vehicles are cheaper to run, less expensive to maintain, and much better for the environment than vehicles powered by conventional fossil fuels. These benefits come as a result of an electric motor efficiency that has seen marginal improvements over the last few decades.
That’s just as true for aircraft as it is for cars.
When it comes to electric aircraft, there are two main types: fixed-wing airplanes and electric VTOLs.
Electric airplanes are also called "fixed-wing" airplanes. There are no 747 sized electric airliners yet, but smaller commuter planes are in production.
With a range of 620 miles and seating for nine passengers, Aviation is leading the charge in new mass transport options.
People will be able to fly with the Alice for a dramatically cheaper price when compared to other forms of air travel. This is because, according to the company, the Alice will use 50x less fuel consumption in contrast to traditional internal-combustion powered aircraft.
You can now save seventy percent of your costs on fuel with evidence that Eviation’s electric planes could be cheaper. For a 100-mile flight, conventional fuel for a similar-sized Cessna would cost about $400. In Eviation’s electric Alice, it would only be about $10.
AeroTEC and MagniX have teamed up to retro-fit airplanes with electric motors. Productive changes include a significant increase in the efficiency of the plane's system since it is not affected by friction or overheating, compared to a standard motor.
There are also electric-hybrid airplanes in design.
For Example, Project 804 by United Technologies
Read all about the Aero by Zunum, a startup backed by Boeing and JetBlue.
Airbus and Rolls-Royce collaborate to create a passenger airfare history of inquiries for a conceptual aircraft called the E-Fan X. The rule of the rule was shut down in April after achieving its three initial research goals.
Fixed-wing electric aircraft are just what you need
The second major type of electric aircraft is the eVTOL.
VTOL: What does "electric vertical take-off and landing" even mean?
Non-electric examples of this technology might be anything from a helicopter to a drone or a Harrier Jump Jet.
eVTOLs are shorter, more compact versions of regular VTOLs designed for short flights across cities.
Some AI-driven aircraft resemble passenger-carrying quadcopter drones. Others have a fixed-wing component, like regular airplanes.
Interest in eVTOLs has been on the rise, with startups and major aircraft manufacturers showcasing new models.
Airbus conducted the first public flight of its autonomous 4-seat CityAirbus multicopter eVTOL in July, which has a projected range up to 15 minutes and a flight time of about 15 minutes.
Airbus also has Vahana, a drone product in development by its Silicon Valley innovation arm, Acubed
Boeing is working to create an autonomous passenger air vehicle. Aurora Flight Science has partnered with Uber for the design, with the eventual intent of designing a service called "On-Demand Air Taxi."
Boeing and Porsche will partner to develop a third vertical take-off and landing
SkyDrive, a Machida-based "flying car" company, has raised USD$374 million to bring their unique product to consumers. SkyDrive conducted its first manned demonstration just recently in Tokyo, Japan.
The SD-03 is the world’s smallest eVTOL, requiring only 2 parking spaces on the ground.
For all of their benefits, drones are limited in their power. Elevate aims to take drone design to the next level with eVTOLs.
The aforementioned electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles use multiple smaller electric motors with rotors spread out across the aircraft, while a typical helicopter uses one main internal-combustion engine with two huge rotors stacked atop.
The eVTOL’s multi-motor design is called "distributed electric propulsion" (DEP) system.
A DEP system reduces the footprint downtime required for take-off and landing. A DEP system also makes piloting easier because it allows you to land on any runway length shorter than 3,000m (9,800feet).
Tiny propellers that are mounted on the exterior are quieter, don’t have to spin as fast, and can produce less noise.
Noise, vibrations, and a new suspension system make for a more pleasant ride
Dozens of eVTOL manufacturers are currently vying to capture a share of the burgeoning urban air mobility market by investing in eVTOLs, which can fly over traffic with ease.
Cities in several countries including Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Brazil have been investing in urban electric mobility initiatives.
The first reason electric air travel hasn't caught on for decades.
Energy density: fuel efficiency basics
In other words, the amount of stored energy in one pound of “transformation” — whether gas, diesel, kerosene, batteries, or signals.
Electric cars have a heavier structure in order to store enough power in batteries
The weight gain of an aircraft poses a problem.
But it’s a problem we’re getting closer to solving
Elon Musk has set the cross-over point for electric planes to be when battery technology reaches 400 Wh/kg. Tesla batteries, currently near 300 Wh/kg, will ergo fly commercial or cargo airlines in just a few short years if they maintain their current rate and trajectory.
Industry-leading Tesla batteries can now hold 260 Wh/kg of electricity, a very significant step towards a more efficient electric car.
Should we get to 400 Wh/kg?
Elon Musk predicts that within just 3-4 years, robots will be ten times as powerful
Tesla said it has near-term plans for electric aircraft, which would naturally combine with its range of highly efficient electric cars.
We’ve analyzed the top trends in the transport and tourism industry, highlighting how they will affect our modern society in 2021 and beyond.
There are also trends within the travel industry. Consumers are becoming more discerning, with many opting to stay in the modern-day trends seen in online worlds, which highlights a dynamic connection between travel and consumers.
The future of business and transportation in 2021 is wide open and there are varied opportunities to take advantage of the increase in demand for sustainable travel.